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Article

Community Genetics and Health Approaches for Bringing Awareness in Tribals for the Prevention of Beta-Thalassemia in India

Division of Human Genetics, Regional Medical Research Centre, Indian Council of Medical Research, Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India
Thalass. Rep. 2011, 1(1), e2; https://doi.org/10.4081/thal.2011.e2
Submission received: 15 April 2011 / Revised: 13 July 2011 / Accepted: 15 July 2011 / Published: 4 August 2011

Abstract

Beta (β) thalassemia syndromes are a group of hereditary disorders characterized by a genetic deficiency in the synthesis of β-globin chains. In the homozygous state, β-thalassemia (i.e., thalassemia major) causes severe transfusion-dependent anemia. Inherited β-thalassemia syndromes cause high degree of hemolytic anemia, recurrent fever, clinical jaundice, frequent infections, bossing of cheek bones, growth retardation, splenomegaly, etc. and are responsible for high infant morbidity, mortality and fetal wastage in India. The victims include the infants, growing children, adolescent girls, pregnant women and a large chunk of ignorant people. In view of heavy genetic load, frequent requirement of blood transfusions, high cost of treatment and management, physical trauma, and mental and psychological harassment to the patients and their families, it has been realized that preventive community health and genetics approach is the most suitable for India. After carrier detection, prenatal diagnosis, and genetic couselling are the important options for couples at high risk for β-thalassemia. A prerequisite for successful prevention and intervention approach in India is the health education, bringing public awareness, sensitization, and community screening for the identification of heterozygotes or carriers in the concerned community. Some suggestions for the prevention of β-thalassemia in the vulnerable communities of India have been over emphasized for amelioration.
Keywords: beta-thalassemia syndrome; preventive strategies; community genetics; intervention program; carrier detection; genetic/marriage counseling beta-thalassemia syndrome; preventive strategies; community genetics; intervention program; carrier detection; genetic/marriage counseling

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MDPI and ACS Style

Balgir, R.S. Community Genetics and Health Approaches for Bringing Awareness in Tribals for the Prevention of Beta-Thalassemia in India. Thalass. Rep. 2011, 1, e2. https://doi.org/10.4081/thal.2011.e2

AMA Style

Balgir RS. Community Genetics and Health Approaches for Bringing Awareness in Tribals for the Prevention of Beta-Thalassemia in India. Thalassemia Reports. 2011; 1(1):e2. https://doi.org/10.4081/thal.2011.e2

Chicago/Turabian Style

Balgir, Ranbir S. 2011. "Community Genetics and Health Approaches for Bringing Awareness in Tribals for the Prevention of Beta-Thalassemia in India" Thalassemia Reports 1, no. 1: e2. https://doi.org/10.4081/thal.2011.e2

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